Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I need a fuel upgrade

The chamber pot is coming along, my fingers are blistered, and I can barely see. That's the second layer that I've started. It's a double-walled vessel b/c it has to be strong enough to squat on, apparently. I'm still not totally up to snuff healthwise, but indulged myself yesterday with an appt-free day: no class, no meetings, no running around. Just lots of Korean homework and weaving and then the requisite bout of insomnia. I ran errands today since I can now eat food, and was delighted with the fact that everything is in walking distance (I did my very first solo dry cleaning run here).

During my jiseung lesson today, my teacher's wife fed us an amazing meal while my teacher told me why I need to marry a Korean man: b/c Korean people have 정. There is no good translation for that word; I suspect it's a particularly Korean trait. My cousin mentioned it last summer in regards to her children, and when I looked it up in the dictionary (it said something like feeling or affection) and translated it back to her, she said, no, it's not that, and it's not love, either. So I was stumped, but after months of living here, I finally get it. I mean, it's why my teacher's wife feeds me during 6-hour lessons. It's why a professor would drive me from the humanities building to the agriculture building and back, and then continue to take care of me for the next two days. Why women in their 70s would insist that I take the warmest spot on the floor for a siesta. Why my cousin's wife would buy a fancy foam mattress just so I would have a comfy place to sleep.

It's a very special thing.

But onto love! My dear beloved Ching-In is kicking off her East Coast book launch, so I wanted to share for those of you near Boston and/or NYC:

The Heart's Traffic is Ching-In's debut collection of poems from Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press. This novel-in-poems chronicles the life of Xiaomei, an immigrant girl haunted by the death of her best friend. Told through a kaleidoscopic braid of stories, letters, and riddles, this stunning debut collection follows Xiaomei's life as she grows into her sexuality and searches for a way to deal with her complicated histories. At times, meditation, celebration, investigation, and elegy, this is a book about personal transformation within the context of a family forced to make do—a Makeshift Family—and how one might create new language to name the New World.

Sunday, March 22, 2009. 7pm.
NYC Book Release Party & Reading!
with special guests Marlon Unas Esguerra, R. Erica Doyle & Joseph O. Legaspi
Bluestockings, New York, NY; Free.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 6:30pm
Boston Book Release Party & Reading!
Boston Chinatown Neighorhood Center, Boston MA; Free.

Thursday, March 26, 3-4:15pm
Reading/Class Visit
Center for Humanities (next to campus center), Tufts University, Medford MA; Free.

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 7pm
122 Salon III
with Charon Morris & Marta Lucia Vargas
following the featured readers there will be a Renga Jam
Monica's apartment - 122 W117th Street Apt 3, NY, NY
$5, RSVP to

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 6pm
Red Hen New York Reading Series
with Brendan Constantine, Delana R.A. Dameron, and Mitchell Douglas
Bowery Poetry Club, NY, NY

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